Faculty Spotlight: Carmen Boggs-Parker and the Gilman Scholarship

Dr. Carmen Boggs-Parker is the Director of Education Abroad at Appalachian State’s Office of International Education and Development. We sat down with Dr. Boggs-Parker to talk about her own international education experiences and the Gilman Scholarship.

A first-generation college student, Dr. Boggs-Parker majored in international studies and English literature at George Mason University. Though initially unsure if she would be able to study abroad as an undergraduate, her financial aid helped her to study in London, an experience which proved to be transformative. As someone from a more rural background, time in a world city like London exposed her to a diverse metropolis. She rented a room from a local family which gave her an in-person view of English life. By the end of her time in London, she found herself more confident and felt that she had a better understanding of herself.

When determining whether study abroad would be an option for her, Dr. Boggs-Parker received tremendous assistance from a graduate student who advised her through the process. It was then that she became interested in working in the field of international education, and in time completed a PhD program in Planning, Governance and Globalization, with research focusing on faculty-led international programs.

Today, one of Dr. Boggs-Parker’s roles is to advise students preparing to study abroad. Because many students feel that cost is a barrier to international education, one recommendation she gives is to apply for the Gilman Scholarship. The Gilman Scholarship is an award of up to $5,000 that can be used for long- or short-term international education, including App State’s faculty-led programs. Because the Gilman Scholarship is intended to help level the playing field for students who may be prevented from studying abroad due to financial concerns, it is available only to students who are eligible for a Pell Grant. Dr. Boggs-Parker mentioned that the scholarship is for students from any field of study, so any eligible student willing to put forth a serious commitment when applying should consider doing so.

App State students have applied for and received Gilman Scholarships in the past. When asked about past recipients, the first one that came to Dr. Boggs-Parker’s mind is a student who received funding to do research in the Dolomite Mountains of northeastern Italy. This reveals another facet of the Gilman Scholarship: it can be used to fund research, internships or study in another country.

Dr. Boggs-Parker’s closing advice to students was, “Give yourself the freedom to dream. Life offers a lot of opportunities, and this is the best time to take a positive risk. Be open!”

Students interested in studying abroad can make an appointment with the Office of International Education and Development through their website or go to their walk-in advising hours on Wednesday 2-4pm.
Students can learn more about the Gilman Scholarship here. Those ready to start applying can make an appointment with App State’s office of Nationally Competitive Scholarships.


About the Office of International Education and Development

The OIED is responsible for spearheading the internationalization efforts at Appalachian. The internationalization mission of Appalachian is to develop awareness, knowledge, appreciation and respect of cultural differences in both domestic and international contexts in its students, faculty, staff and the surrounding communities. The university is also dedicated to creating a campus environment that builds the theoretical and practical skills needed to interact effectively in a global society. Learn more at https://international.appstate.edu.


About Nationally Competitive Scholarships

Nationally Competitive Scholarships (NCS) works with the Appalachian community to recruit and support students for nationally competitive scholarships and fellowships, including those that support research, teaching and critical language learning. This is achieved with outreach, mentorship and advising throughout the entire application and selection process. NCS is committed to helping undergraduate and graduate students find ways to connect their Appalachian education to their future endeavors through scholarship opportunities. Learn more at https://ncs.appstate.edu.

By James Holden
October 1st, 2023

Carmen Boggs-Parker
Published: Oct 2, 2023 9:55am